I’ll Always Vote Optimism

I’ll never stop voting for hope and optimism.

There’s been a lot of discussion around the recent vote on Initiative 300 (feel free to read the initiative here and a great Denverite article, here).

It passed by a narrow margin and immediately the hand-wringing commenced. The Mayor opposed it, saying it went “too far too fast” That feels like Mayor Hancock’s motto as most of his efforts seem to be closer to “Do little, talk a lot.”

Here’s why I voted for it.

  1. It’s not an amendment to our state constitution, so while some argue it’s wording isn’t great, it can be revised and adjusted as we collect data on its implementation. It’s the result of builders and the city giving no fucks about Denver’s future. When the government and “The market” aren’t listening, citizens act. Case in point.
  2. It’s aggressively progressive, which I like. I find that the “Let’s be realistic” mindset is often the “let’s not do much” mindset in a more palatable wrapper. If you shoot for the moon and end up only getting to orbit, you’re still in orbit. If you say “the moon is too hard let’s aim lower”, you don’t leave the atmosphere, then try to sell it as a win.
  3. I’m more and more tired of Denver’s government talking a huge game and failing to deliver. The list of those opposed to this initiative was evidence enough to me it was a good idea. Denver loves to give itself awards and back pats for things like our homeless-ness solutions, our bike friendliness, etc. Yet when you look at what we’re actually doing, we’re making homeless-ness illegal vs. addressing it. We’re adding car infrastructure far faster than we are biking. To name two.

Painting rosesi300 may not work out.

After six months (which to me is too soon as far as an option to simply repeal it) we can evaluate. My hope is the city uses i300 as the stepping stone to making Denver more green (environmentally, not color, which would likely be Mayor Hancock’s version) because saying we are is like painting white roses red. i300 should start the conversation that brings citizens, builders, and the city together.

Hopefully, any effort is better balanced than the Mayor’s Affordable Housing task force, of which 95% was builders, or people in the building industry (really, 1 neighborhood rep, and 1 “affected population” rep… really?).


I’ll never stop voting for hope and optimism, perhaps some of that is a little anarchist, because some change, especially the most important change is often painful, but nonetheless worth it.

By John Wilker

I'm a science fiction writer and conference organizer. In 2017 I published my first book, 'Space Rogues', a fun Sci-Fi adventure with a fun cast of characters. I'm also the co-founder of 360|Conferences, a conference and event logistics consulting company.

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